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How Firefighters Convince Thousands of Muslims to Take Vaccine

When Faz Patel’s grandfather was breathing his last, due to coronavirus in 2020, his last advice to his family was to get vaccinated.

“He used to tell everyone to get the vaccine and I decided, instead of just mourning his loss, that I would actively partake in the vaccination effort and help the people in my local area to feel more confident about it,” Patel, an MBE, told Lancashire Live.

Patel, a Muslim fire safety officer, is one of many Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) workers who have been helping with vaccination efforts.

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Providing much needed help, LFRS delivered 1,000 vaccinations in just five days when called upon by their NHS colleagues to help with the vaccination effort last month.

“Many individuals from BME and Muslim communities and some elderly people had believed the misinformation on social media and word of mouth about the vaccines and were therefore very reluctant to put themselves forward for it,” Patel said.

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“However, with our help, we managed to see an uptake of 30% in vaccinations in the Pennines area of Lancashire in March to April this year, compared to when the program started in December 2020.”

Radio Outreach

Reaching out to the reluctant communities, LFRS broadcasted information about the vaccines in four different languages from their own radio station, Pendle Community Radio.

“It’s all about using the right language and getting people to warm to the idea of the vaccines by listening to their concerns and addressing them in the best way possible,” Patel added.

“When we were out in the community helping with the program it was the height of lockdown, but so many people were just happy to see a smiling face at their door.

“Overall we’ve helped to administer over 500,000 vaccinations and supported 25 vaccination sites in the area.

“Just last month, we were awarded the FIRE Magazine award for the Best Emergency Service in the UK for this year due to our work within the pandemic and it’s so good to be finally recognised for all the hard work we do.”

Allah tells us that “If anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole humanity.” Quran 5:32

Inspired by this verse, thousands of Muslims from across the UK led incredible efforts over the past months to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More on the efforts of the Muslim community during the pandemic.